Location: Haut-Rhin department    Map

Info: Palais du Gouverneur, 6 pl d'Armes
Tel. 03 89 72 56 66

Musee Vauban
Pl Porte de Belfort
Tel. 03 89 72 03 93
Open: May- Oct: Wed- Mon
Nov-Apr: groups, by appointment


Neuf-Brisach is settlement that arouse on the site of the former fortress in Haut-Rhin department of France. It was designed by Vauban as an octagonal citadel that protected border against German states. It was constructed between 1698 and 1707. It consists of two walls of protection and the city is broken into 48 squares for ease of defense. A central church Eglise St- Louis was added in 1731- 36 and dedicated to the saint patron of French king Louis XIV known as Sun King. If you want to learn more about fortress' history you can visit Musee Vauban at the Porte de Belfort.



Neuf-Brisach is located in the part of the Alsatian plain, near the German border and the Rhine (5 km).

Neuf-Brisach has a site polluted with creosote, once used to treat railway ties.



Located in the Alsace plain, Neuf-Brisach is 3.5 km from the bridge over the Rhine, which marks the border, and the German town of Vieux-Brisach on the other bank. The municipal territory consists only of the "new town", the fortifications and their rights-of-way. The town of Volgelsheim in the east is contiguous, its municipal territory extending from the stronghold to the Rhine. The rural municipalities of Wolfgantzen in the west, on the road to Colmar, Biesheim in the north and Weckolsheim in the south, are located in a close environment.



Neuf-Brisach is accessible by the A35 motorway, which passes through Colmar, and various departmental roads. Colmar is 15 km, Mulhouse 35 km and Freiburg, Germany, 33 km. Public road transport services by bus connect Neuf-Brisach to Colmar. The TGV serves Colmar and the nearest airport, EuroAirport Bâle-Mulhouse4, is 56 km away, Strasbourg International Airport being 82 km away.

The means of tourist transport are not only linked to the road since you can take a tourist and historical train from the old station of Volgelsheim to reach the Sans-Soucis pier and board a boat for a cruise on the Rhine . Neuf-Brisach Ville station is now closed to all traffic. The Route verte, a symbol of Franco-German friendship, linking the French Vosges to the German Black Forest massif from the early 1960s onwards, links the historic towns of Neuf-Brisach by hiking or cycling. French and Vieux-Brisach the German.



In 1697, the Treaties of Ryswick signed in Rijswijk, a Dutch town on the outskirts of The Hague, put an end to the war of the League of Augsburg between Louis XIV and the Grand Alliance. France loses the stronghold of Brisach on the German bank of the Rhine. In order to make up for the loss of the old stronghold, which left a defensive void between Strasbourg and Mulhouse, Louis XIV decided to build a new fortified town facing Brisach, located half a league from the Rhine, to prevent any invasion from across the Rhine. He entrusted the study to his architects Vauban and Jacques Tarade.

Louis XIV chose, among three projects, a stronghold on an octagonal plan, with 8 bastioned towers, covered with as many guards, in addition to the tenaillons, large and small demi-moons and other works.

Construction began on October 18, 1698 with the laying of the first stone, the fortifications of the new citadel were completed in 1702. A channel was specially dug to the Vosges to transport the pink sandstone necessary for construction. ; on October 11, 1731, the foundation stone of the Royal Saint-Louis church was laid, completed in 1736. The town hall was completed in 1758.

Apart from an alert, in 1743, it did not play a major role in history, especially if we compare its fate to that of Huningue: after being the object of a blockade of 106 days by the Austrians in 1814-1815, Neuf-Brisach was besieged for the first time from September 1 to November 10, 1870. Its garrison of 5,500 men and 108 cannons, locked in outdated fortifications, opposed the German troops for 33 days before being forced to surrender.

If the city is partially destroyed by the bombardments, it will be rebuilt. Become a German stronghold, the city will see its fortifications largely modified from the years 1875 to adapt to the new conditions of the war and to realize the heart of the important German bridgehead of Neuf-Brisach (Brückenkopf Neubreisach). This bridgehead equipped with the most modern equipment is a major set of fortifications on the Upper Rhine.

A railway line is built on part of the outer walls.
Due to its isolation in the fortifications, the city has no possibility of extension.
Its garrison was dissolved in 1992.

Neuf-Brisach, the last fortification built ex nihilo by Vauban, is considered the culmination of his work in military architecture. The city severely affected by the American bombings of 1945 is now restored and, since July 2008, is one of the twelve major fortifications of Vauban which are classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.

Some dates :
In 1792, General Favart d'Herbigny commanded the defense of Neuf-Brisach.
In 1793, Jean-Antoine Louis released municipal officers from the village accused of having refused to obey the military requisitions of the two pro-consuls of Alsace, Saint-Just and Lebas.
On October 4, 1793, Major General François-Joseph Offenstein (1760-1837) was appointed commander of the Place de Neuf-Brisach to replace General Gromard, who was suspended.
Between 1815 and 1821, succeeding the camp marshal, comte de Sabran (placed there in December 1814), Brigadier General Dermoncourt, actor in the failure of the blockade of 1814-1815, commanded the place
The town was decorated on November 11, 1948 with the 1939-19459 war cross with a silver star.
July 7, 2008, official UNESCO World Heritage listing

The arms of Neuf-Brisach are emblazoned as follows:
“Azure in the sun, sixteen rays of gold, a fleur-de-lis Argent in a point. "

Neuf Brisach International Land Art Festival "Remp'Arts" (biennial)
May 1st takes place the lily of the valley festival
Musical and folk groups animate the town. A local market is held around the Place d'Armes. Fairgrounds also participate in the festival.
The Christmas market is held the second weekend in December. There is the "Village 1700" with many exhibitors in period costume, craftsmen, games of the past for the youngest. A giant 25m tree, a symbol of Christmas in Alsace, illuminates the central square with a thousand lights.
Every two years, the stronghold lives to the rhythm of a Napoleonic bivouac (camp, reenactments of battles, 300 extras in costume ...)